A saying “the more the better” is one that I use often, and it definetly fits when speaking about Thanksgiving. I did not grow up celebrating Thanksgiving, because this holiday is not as popular in eastern Europe as it is in the United States. I used to watch american movies and often see a family seated around a huge table with a delicious looking turkey in the middle and plates full of tasty looking food. I assumed it was just a very nice dinner or some sort of a family get- together.
The first year that me and my family came to America we learned a lot about the traditions of this country, one of the traditions being Thanksgiving. As a child I was mainly excited about the two days off from school and the parade in New York City, rather than the holiday itself. However, as I got older I wanted to figure out what the whole Thanksgiving extravaganza was about. One day I was just sitting on the sofa after school, mindlessly browsing through television channels, I came across a show where a chef was preparing the Thanksgiving dinner and giving some information about how the holiday started and what people tend to do during this holiday. I was curious, and that curiousity led me to the library, the cookbook section to be exact. I dragged three, heavy books home and anounced to my family that we have to take a trip to the grocery store to buy a turkey. I thought they would laugh at my spontaneous idea but they were actually willing to try and put the Thanksgiving dinner together.
Five hours were spent, trying to find the best turkey, the herbs to stuff inside of it and getting other ingredients for the side dishes. Although my mother is a great cook, preparing a turkey was quiet a challenege. The stuffing kept on falling out, the turkey legs would stay when we tie them together and the bird just would fit into the oven. Twenty dirty dishes and many laughs later the bird finally gave in and dissapeared in the oven for a good six hours. The anticipation was in the air, because neither of my family members, including myself have tasted a turkey prepared in the oven and we had no idea how it was going to turn out.
Seeing the cooked turkey on the dinner table, spreading an aroma of herbs and lemon all around the house made it worth all the work. After taking a couple of bites of food the realization of what Thanksgiving really is hit me. It is not necessarily about the food that you make. It is about the strenght of the family, the time you spend together and the appreciation for those special moments in life. Having spent a couple of days shopping, cooking, and laughing together made us realize how good it is to be around your loved ones.
Our first Thanksgiving left a great memory in our hearts and we made it a tradition to prepare the Thanksgiving dinner every year, not only for ourselves but for our friends as well. There is no greater feeling that tasting good food and enjoying a great conversation. You do not have to be american or even live in America. Appreciate all you have and the people in your life and make every day and Thanksgiving day.